As we cut the first of the sunflowers at Emily’s this week, and as we continue to monitor the blossoms on our blueberry bushes, we are reminded of how easy it is to bring that “Farm to Table” concept to life! Eating LOCAL food and taking part in a movement of shortening the supply chain has never been so easy!
The concept of Farm to Table has been gaining in popularity across the country and has been growing momentum over the past several years. We have learned that produce, when picked at its peak, provides the greatest nutrition and flavor, and the longer it takes for that picked produce to get to you, the less taste and nutrition they hold.
As local farmers, it is our responsibility to give you plenty of local food options and to arm you with as much information and inspiration about growing your own food. We want you to know that you have the flexibility and resources to plant your own garden, visit a local farm stand, stroll through a farmer’s market, join a CSA, or find a grocery store that offers local homegrown food. Providing you with local food options that shorten the supply chain from field to table is an important step in sustaining agriculture traditions in our own community and on our farm.
As important as it is to support local farms and consume locally produced food, it is equally important to understand the challenges that can come for farmers to get the food from the farm to the table. When you visit a grocery store and get that piece of fruit or vegetable – take the time to ask yourself or investigate how it got from the farm to your table. Ask yourself was it machine or hand-picked, was it treated with chemicals to preserve its lifespan or appearance, how long did it take to get from the field to the store, how long did it spend in cold storage, how many hands touched it before you? All these things are important if you want to understand how to shorten the supply chain and have an intimate relationship with those who take great pride in feeding you and your family.
Finally, if you are growing your own food or if you have a relationship with those doing it for you, then you know the challenges that environmental conditions can have on your crops. Just today, we witnessed clear evidence of how adverse weather conditions like excessive rain can have on a strawberry crop. Finding a few “Hollow Center” berries in our field reminded us that excessive rain followed by heat can be challenging for any local food enthusiast. Whether you are an informed grower or an informed consumer, you know that local harvests may not always be “perfect”. However, if you are growing it yourself or have a personal relationship with the person who did, you can answer some critical questions and you know that you took part in shortening the supply chain!